The SHONAN area’s wakame seaweed cultivation season is at its peak in February.
This time, we visited the “Seaweed Symposium - Wakame Cultivation Experience”, offered by the
Enoshima Fisherman’s Project (EFP)which works to spread awareness of the fishing industry.
In December every year in Enoshima, wakame seaweed is attached to ropes to create a wakame seaweed cultivation shelf. There are events offered both in December (Wakame Seeding) and February of the next year (Wakame Harvest) where you can experience these traditions. The events allow you to learn all about the sea and wakame seaweed through experiences and food education - ranging from wakame harvesting and cooking preparation to lectures about the sea and sea creatures. At the last harvesting experience event, a menu of six different experiences was offered.
Mini lecture by Mobajii and Wakajii, famous for their activities across Japan. They will explain how wakame is grown, and also about the effects of CO2 and global warming in an easy to understand way with pictures.
Mr. Kitamura, a representative of the EFP, teaches about wakame preparation, use and storage. (Mr. Kitamura is the president of the Enoshima Fishermen’s Project, and is also a fisherman himself!)
※You can also try dried wakame during the lecture!
The kids will love being able to touch sea creatures that they don’t usually come across, such as sea cucumbers, sea urchin and starfish♪ Even children who are hesitant to touch the slimy creatures at the beginning will get used to the sensation quickly. I noticed the children enjoying themselves last time I went.
A mini-cruise to the part of Enoshima where the wakame cultivation shelves are located!
When I participated, the weather and sea conditions were perfect, and the sea breeze made for a refreshing and enjoyable cruise. Usually you can’t see the back of Enoshima, so it is a unique opportunity to be able to do so from a boat.
After returning from the cruising, it was time to experience wakame harvesting!
The sight of so much wakame lined up was amazing.
We learned how to harvest it from the fishermen (the key is to cut the roots), and then everyone tried it at once!
The roots and stalks are hard, so you need to hold the scissors steadily to harvest.
Explanation about diving and diving equipment from the EFP’s partner that does sea floor cleaning activities, the “Sanriku Volunteer Divers” They even demonstrated one of their dives!
After all the experiences are finished, everyone enjoys eating together! You can enjoy dishes that include the crunchy texture of freshly caught wakame, such as freshly harvested wakame in a shabu shabu miso soup, korean style seasoned vegetables, fried fish, young sardine pasta and rice with hijiki vegetables etc.
The Enoshima Fishermen’s Project (EFP) offers a range of fishing and culinary experiences unique to the Shonan area in addition to the Seaweed Symposium, such as the “Fishing Classroom”, “Seaweed Bed Protection Activites”, “Clean Festival”, “Shonan Fireworks Viewing Cruising” etc.
The number of people who have participated in the EFP’s activities has passed 5,000! They are planning many other Enoshima Fishing Village events, so please check their home page and Facebook for more details!